Marine Corps Marathon – The Completion

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for your support for us, for your thoughts and well-wishes for the marathon, and for your support for the Fisher House.

Marine Corps Marathon is like no other. Called “The People’s Marathon,” there are no elites – no racers getting paid to be there. It is entirely entered by runners wanting to challenge themselves for the sake of the race.

It was cold. Very very cold. But I’d prefer that to rain/wind/snow/heat, so I’ll take it!


The race was honestly the best I’ve ever seen/run. It felt like there were just as many spectators on the course as there were runners (and there were a LOT of runners).


And the best part of going in with no real time goal except for to beat the bus? You can be one of “those” people who stop and take pictures. Because, well, why not?!



We were even able to meet up with some amazing friends from our last boat (the Navy really is a small world.. or it at least makes the world feel smaller), and it was wonderful to meet their baby girl! She was even sweet enough to take a pic for us!



And the best part of any race? The bling. And this is by far one of the coolest medals I’ve ever gotten (with the only exception being the Salinas Valley Half Marathon’s… it’s a wine bottle cork, what’s cooler than that?!)


In the end, we charged D.C., “beat the bridge” (didn’t get picked up by the slow runner buses), and conquered the last hill at the Iwo Jima memorial.

Thank you, Congress, for doing your job and reopening government so that the race wasn’t cancelled! And THANK YOU to Team Fisher House for your support, the awesome race goodies, the crowds cheering us on, and the food tent at the end.




The things you find

It is truly almost like Christmas. You unwrap way too many toys, some of which you wonder why you even bought it in the first place, you find things you forgot you had, and your kids are ecstatic over items once long forgotten.

You also find those rare gems. Memory trinkets, movie stubs, things that make you go, “I remember that day!”

One of such things is this:

My menu from the last week of detest at Madigan!

I have to say, the food was good. Not only was it not bad, it was actually good. The French toast with strawberries (hush, that was a special treat you weren’t supposed to know about), muffins, cookies, and various lunch/dinners made the 28 days much more bearable.

Those were the days…

Travel in summary

So a few last thoughts.

Miles traveled: 3383

State license plates seen: All 50 (first trip with all of them legitimately!)

Days in hotels: 8 in Monterey, 4 hotels on road, 3 nights in families’ houses, 1 last night here in town.

Needless to say, the kids were very happy to see their bed stuffs!


New house: awesome.

It’s a very strange thing to have boxes coming off a truck labeled “babies” and “boys” rooms, and unload into “boys” and “girls” rooms.


We cannot wait to get settled in, and make it “ours” but it’s amazing to be in a house for at least a little while. Let’s hope for follow-on orders here so we can stay!

Day 8: finally home

We survived. It was a great morning with a bit of a late start due to a real breakfast, and then we headed east. We made it to a friend’s house for a (much too) short stop. They were Navy friends by happy accident and third party connections, but one of those families that you could see yourself being lifelong friends and neighbors with. It was wonderful, and had been too long since last meeting.

Then we hit the road. We knew the movers were hoping to arrive the next day, so we had to push through in one day instead of taking two.


The gps didn’t like some of the roads we were on and I’m pretty sure tried to stage a coup at one point.

We made great time though. Had two delays for bad traffic but not terrible by any means.

And finally, we were home. We got the keys for the house, did a walk through, and drove away excited to see it in the light of day the following day.


It was a late night, but we found an awesome suite to crash in and settled in for hopefully our last hotel stay for a while!

Miles traveled: 513 miles
States traveled: PA, NJ, NY, CT, RI

Day 7

On the road again….

So we left Tiffin and stopped through our old home where we moved as newlyweds.

It was strange to see it again and walk through (we still own and have amazing property managers).

Then into Pittsburgh for some R&R at Steven’s aunt’s house. It was fun- we got a group of cousins together who hadn’t been in, about, 5 years! We actually realized the last time one cousin held Aiden, he was exactly the same age as their baby is now (9 months).

Best part? That aunt was a MoM of triplets too! I’m sure it was surreal to have triple tornadoes running through the house again.



Miles traveled: 213 miles
States traveled: Ohio & Pennsylvania (slackers…)

Day 6

Miles traveled: ZERO

Best. Rest. Day. Ever.


The last picture we have of him under this tree he was 8 months old.




We went out to a dear friend’s farm and saw chickens, cows, and dogs (Jacen’s favorite) but those pictures are on the camera. I’ll upload them when I have a computer again!

Day 5


Sorry for delays, little cell service in Tiffin, OH 😉

The Air Force Base we stayed at had an amazing TLF. The babies got some practice on stairs which will be helpful in the new house.

We made it safely from St. Louis to Tiffin. The babies were very happy to get out of the car! We had Grandnan, and one of our aunts and a cousin there too! The boys had a blast playing and the babies loved that there was a higher than 1:1 ratio


Then we finally got Chick Fil A for the first time this trip. We had passed several but couldn’t rationalize the time for a stop. This one fell perfectly at a lunch break, and it wasn’t even a Sunday!

Miles traveled: 475
States travelled: MIssouri, Indiana, Ohio

Day 4


First highlight to note: we crossed 2000 miles today…

Today started off great- we awoke by the sun rather than by children!

Got on the road to spend yet another day on I-40… Thankfully it wasn’t the WHOLE day today (just 90% of it!)


A good friend lived off the route but unfortunately we couldn’t add that extra time in today 🙁 thankful for life long military friends who understand!


Made great time, avoided rush hour, and got to an awesome hotel (even if another pipe burst I’d be okay with it. Lol). It was definitely a venti-with-an-extra-shot kid of day though.

Walked to dinner (nice excursion, though I’d forgotten about humidity!), and then back.

Miles traveled: 530 miles
States traveled: Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois

Day 3

Today has been… interesting (to say the least).

We got up this morning. Let me back up. Steven got up this morning, hearing running water. He assumed it was the neighbors, or maybe a sink got left on… something normal. Instead we found a spray from the sink and a flood in the bathroom that grew by the second.


(carpet shouldn’t be reflective…)

Remember, the babies sleep on the floor in their cool sleeping mats.


We waited until the last minute, woke them up, and pulled them from that bedroom to the living room to watch cartoons. The lodging people came to fix it quickly, and other than that little incident the stay was actually really nice!


And, on the bright side, cool wet vacs are awesome to 2 year olds!

Then, we got on the road. Grabbed gas from base first, and DUNKIN DONUTS!! Seriously. 3 years since we’ve had that amazingness. How did we survive?!

And then we drove. And drove. Left New Mexico, crossed Texas (thankfully it was less than a day this time as opposed to my last drive through there which took 3 days), and entered Oklahoma!

Needless to say, the fun didn’t end with a broken pipe. Let’s just say that GPS and Oklahoma City are not friends. At all. First, it took us on a weird offramp where people are stopped and look like they’ll drive straight into you and you can’t figure out if you’re going the wrong way or just need to cross the road or what. Then the address we had plugged in for the lodge took us to a not-so-city like area, with run down houses, lots of broken down cars, and some not-so-friendly looking people. Back to the interstate we went, and we finally found our friends.

That’s right – friends! Thanks to the good ole’ Navy, we have friends in the middle of Oklahoma! Seriously. It was incredible to meet up with them, and rejuvenated the spirit like nothing else could. Their daughter babysat Aiden when he was little, and the last time we saw them I was giantly pregnant and about to deliver babies.

Then to the lodge. I have to say – not as impressed. But as long as a pipe doesn’t burst I’ll survive the night 😉

Restaurants I’d forgotten I’d missed (in no particular order): Steak N Shake, Chick Fil A, Dunkin Donuts, McAlister’s Deli… (to be continued)

Miles Traveled: 516
States Traveled: New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma